Sunday, July 19, 2015

John Kaye, Australian Movies, Damien Fotiou, and Behind the Scenes

1. Read an article about New South Wales MP John Kaye wanting an investigation done on unschooling and the Premier Mike Baird saying no, thank you.

John Kaye, a Greens Leader, is the head of a parliamentary committee that seems quite prejudice against unschooling.

According to the article, a report from the committee said,  The committee is concerned that taken to its extreme, children who are unschooled may not achieve even basic levels of literacy and numeracy. The application of unschooling may constitute educational neglect.

Well, I'm concerned that this committee is made up of adults who were traditionally schooled as children; and these schools failed to teach these individuals that one should do open-minded research before making damning accusations.

2. Wondered if the committee met with many unschooling families. Have they found several unschooled children who do not have basic math and reading skills?

I'm sure there ARE some unschooled children who do not have needed skills. Maybe in some cases, their parents are failing them. But in other cases, it might be that the child is struggling with a learning disability, and they would have struggled in a traditional classroom as well.

Are some unschooled children neglected? I'm sure they are. But come on! Does every school child go home to a happy, healthy, and safe environment?

3. Wanted to say that I would not have a problem with the government wanting to investigate unschooling. Although maybe we could use another word. Investigate makes it sounds like they're looking at a crime.

What's a better word?

I can't think of one right now.

Anyway, I think it would be nice for the government to look at unschooling.  I definitely think they should take it seriously. But in a positive way. Or how about at least a neutral way?

From what I see the in the article, the committee is going at it in a very negative way.

4. Wondered about a quote from John Kaye. He said, It is highly unusual for the Premier to sign a government response to an inquiry. This time it looks like he is meddling in a policy area that is increasingly of interest to his conservative Christian power base.

So he thinks unschooling families are conservative Christians?

I don't know if his belief is wrong or right.

I know homeschooling used to be seen as a dominantly Christian thing. But, at least in the United States, it has spread out a bit more.

I'm probably speaking from my own prejudices here; but I see traditional homeschooling as being more likely done by conservative Christians. With unschooling, I picture a wider range of religions and philosophies—Paganism, Judaism, New Age, atheism, etc.

5. Remembered the unschooling conferences we've been to. I'd say the crowd there was definitely more in the Pagan-New Age range than the conservative Christian one.

I know there are unschooling Christians, but I would GUESS that most of them are liberal Christians and not conservative ones.

6. Went to John Kaye's website.

He looks like a doctor to me—the kind who doesn't listen to patients; the kind who gives you a stern look when you say you've read about your symptoms on the Internet.

Yes. I'm judging someone on their looks. But maybe his viewpoint has prejudiced me a bit.

7. Dreaded reading Kaye's blog post on the unschooling issue. I know it's going to make me angry. But I'm going to do it anyway.

First of all the title of the post is highly offensive. "Baird Runs Cover for Educational Neglect".

8. Bewildered by a John Kaye quote.  The state has an over-riding obligation to protect the welfare of all children. That includes ensuring there is research into the consequences of unschooling that is not tainted by bias against mainstream education.

But it's okay for his committee to be biased against unschooling?

9. Decided ignorant prejudices against unschooling families is not very different from ignorant prejudices against gay-parenting families.

It's taking a very imperfect system that has failed many children throughout history and saying, This is the way things need to be done. This is the only thing that is healthy for children. Shame on those who are doing things differently. 

If all traditionally schooled children grew up to be healthy, mentally stable, well-functioning members of society who caused minimal harm to themselves and others; I'd feel quite conflicted about unschooling.

And if all children of mother-father households grew up to be healthy, mentally stable, well-functioning members of society who caused minimal harm to themselves and others; maybe it would be best for gay parents to put their sexual needs aside and try to follow the crowd.

Sometimes a traditional schooled education works out extremely well. Sometimes it works out moderately well. Sometimes it turns out quite awful. So I don't see any problem in trying something different.

10. Saw from John Kaye's bio page that he's a strong advocate for public education.

That's lovely. But can't he be pro-public education without bashing other types of education?

Then again, I'm pro-homeschooling and I sometimes bash public schools.

Or do I? I'm not against schools—private or public. I just don't like society's reliance on them. It's not really that. What I don't like is the idea that schools are a necessity for all children. I want to live in a world where adults don't ask children, What grade are you in? Or, Do you have the day off of school?  But instead ask, Do you go to school or do you learn at home? 

I guess what I'm saying is, I want homeschooling to be even more mainstream. I don't want public schools to disappear, but I'd like there to be less of them.  Instead of having many public schools, I'd like to have more libraries and community centers.

11. Looked at a list of seven recommended Australian movies. I saw it on Livejournal this morning when I was writing down my dream. I didn't read the post then, because I got sidetracked.

But now...I'm going to see if I've seen any of the movies.

12. Surprised that the list didn't include Muriel's Wedding. I wish it did, because then I wouldn't feel like such a loser when reading the list. I haven't seen any of the seven movies.  I've seen parts of Picnic at Hanging Rock, but not all of it.

On the bright side, I've at least heard of five out of the seven movies.

13. Realized that three of the Australian movies I've seen star Toni Collette—Mary and Max, Muriel's Wedding, and Mental.

It's kind of significant, because I haven't seen many Australian movies.

And I think four of the movies I've seen feature Deborah Mailman—Mental, Bran Nue Dae, The Sapphires, and....

I forgot the fourth.

Maybe there isn't a fourth.

14. Looked at Deborah Mailman's filmography. There isn't a fourth.

Unless I've seen Rabbit Proof Fence? I've read the book, and I've watched at least some of the movie. I don't think I've seen the whole thing.

15. Started watching Eagle and Evans.

The canned laughter makes me feel lonely, because the other people are amused, and I'm not. I feel very alienated from the crowd.

16. Thought sketch with man locking himself out of a convertible car was mildly amusing, but I didn't find it funny enough to laugh.

17. Failed to understand why Eagle and Evans isn't just a sketch show instead of a comedy about a sketch show.  They don't have many scenes about the behind the scenes stuff—mostly just a short segment in the beginning where they pitch ideas to their producer.

Wait. I just remembered. They also have some scenes about interviewing potential guest-stars on their show.

Still...why not just do a recurring sketch about that type of thing?

18. Liked Expat Nikki's inspiring post about surfing.  She confesses that, despite growing up in coastal Australia, she never learned to surf.  But then she ended up learning how to do it in South Africa.

She asks at the end of the post, Is there an opportunity you didn’t take the first time around and have now, or wished you had?

I'm wondering if there's been something like that in my life? I'll have to think about it.

19. Decided one regret I have is not traveling more when I was younger. I regret not taking a gap year. I wish I had done some kind of work-study program overseas.

I don't think I've remedied my regret a lot yet. We have traveled to Australia three times. That's something. And we went to London.  Spent a night in Japan....

In the future, I'd like to do more remedying.

20. Appreciated the Eagle and Evans sketch about plastic surgery.

The surgeon says, Okay. I think what we really want to do here is remove the general ugliness of the face and replace it with something more palatable to the general public.

I think that's what doctors and dentists really mean when they say treatment is needed for psychosocial well-being.

21. Started watching another episode of Eagle and Evans.

22. Saw that Eagle and Evans had a sketch about photo-bombing. I think they're ahead of their time, because the show is from 2004. I think the photo-bombing term is pretty new.

23. Consulted Lord Wiki. He says photobombing became a big thing in 2009.

I'm sure people photobombed before that. We just didn't talk about it much or have a term for it.

They don't actually use the term on Eagle and Evans.  What happens is a woman shows Eagle and Evans her photo album, and each picture features the same random guy.

24. Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

I liked the scene between Paige (Olympia Valance) and Brennan (Scott McGregor).

Brennan dumped Paige awhile back, and she still has feelings for him. He orders something in the cafe. She asks about his current girlfriend, and Brennan is obliged to tell Paige that said girlfriend is no longer his girlfriend.

Paige is sweet and polite about the whole thing, but I imagine inside she's jumping for joy.

Or at least I would be.

Of course, I wouldn't want my ex to be depressed and suicidal.  But I imagine I'd like knowing they're available again. And there's also that karma thing. Or not karma, exactly, but what goes around comes around.  (which yeah is kind of like Karma, but also a bit different)

It's probably cold-hearted to say this, but if someone rejects me, I'm not sure I'd mind seeing them rejected in return.

25. Felt that Nick (Damien Fotiou) reminded me of someone I personally know. My person is much less far as I know.  I'm pretty sure he doesn't have any diabolical plans. But like Nick, he's  narcissistic.

I just watched a scene where Nick is being encouraged by his sister (Rebekah ElmaLoglou) to turn himself in.  Instead of acting like a man who regrets his actions, he still speaks of himself as a man who can help save the world and puts the blame on all the people "persecuting" him.  I've seen this kind of behavior from the person I know.

26. Amazed that Nick still sees himself as the hero in the story.

27. Annoyed by Daniel (Tim Phillips). He hugged Imogen (Ariel Kaplan) a bit too long.

Imogen is in love with Daniel. Daniel is dating Imogen's best friend Amber (Jenna Rosenow).

Hugging Imogen like that is both unfair to Imogen and Amber.

28. Hoped that Paul (Stefan Dennis) hurries up and apologizes to Georgia. And he needs to thank her.

She tried to tell Paul that Nick faked Paul's cancer, and Paul wouldn't listen to her. Not only that, but he was quite bitchy about it.

Now Paul knows the truth, and an apology needs to come fast.

29. Saw that Paige is more noble than I am. She bitches Naomi (Morgana O'Reilly) out for dumping Brennan.

Paige is such a busy-body. But still. It was sweet of her to try to fight her ex's battles.

30. Saw that even though Paul was bitchy to Georgia, he's even more bitchy to Nick. He really gives him hell! And Nick deserves all of it. But I still found myself feeling sorry for him.

31. Pleased with Paul. He gives Georgia a very sincere apology; expresses gratitude towards her for saving him; and offers to give her any help she might need.

32. Watched the preview for the next episode of Neighbours. It looks a bit boring.

Though I hate Nick, I'm going to miss his storyline.

33. Thought of Neighbours while I was out at the pool.

I realized something. Paul actually has two reasons to apologize to Georgia. There's his harshness towards her regarding her accusations about Nick. But there's also the fact that it was Paul that Nick bet against about getting Georgia into bed with him. Paul was in on all of it.

You know, when Paul apologized, I thought Georgia was a bit stingy with her forgiveness. She wasn't very warm. I was thinking Yeah, Paul was a jerk, but it's kind of understandable. He believed Nick saved his life. Of course he'd want to defend Nick.

But now that I've remembered what else Paul did, I don't blame Georgia for not being warm and fuzzy.

34. Decided to face the face of the man I hate.

Damien Fotiou. He's done a good job with the role, because if I ever see him, I'm going to feel tempted to scream at him.

I looked at his filmography in the past and saw that he was on The Saddle Club. I think I remember him. He wasn't very nice there either.

Actually, if I remember correctly, he was in another fake illness storyline. But this time he was the victim of trickery. The Saddle Club girls needed something from him in his office, so they distracted him with a fake illness.

35. Decided to try to find Fotiou in The Saddle Club episode.

36. Saw Fotiou's character. He's not who I thought he was.

He played Antoine, the boyfriend of the French girl (Matylda Buczko)

  37. Learned, from Lord Wiki, that Fotiou is co-owner and a director at a place called Brave Studios.

They have acting classes and  facilities for people pursuing an acting career.

38. Looked at their self-test page.

I just learned that America often requests Australian actors to send these in. I guess it's kind of like an audition tape.

39. Looked at the photos of the teachers at Brave Studios.

I think I recognize one of them—Damien Walshe-Howling.  I think he was on The Secret Life of Us; and something else I watched.

40. Looked at the filmography of Damien Walshe-Howling.  I would have also seen him on Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms and Satisfaction.

41. Decided to watch backstage video of Damien Fotiou and Saskia Hampele on the official Neighbours YouTube channel.

Fotiou seems nice—very different from Nick.

He has a nice laugh.

42. Enjoyed that video. It was so much fun.

Hampele shows some backstage tricks. For example, the door to Harold's leads to a small storage room. So when the actors walk through the door of Harold's, they're not actually walking into a cafe.

It reminds me of the Tardis stuff.

The door to the Waterhole does lead to the Waterhole lobby. But then further into the area is a storage room where they keep baby prop supplies.

43. Saw that the video I watched was published in November 2014. So they film months ahead.

When did Nick first appear?

Let me see.....

According to IMDb, his first episode was in February 2015.

Wow, I didn't know he was on the show that long.

That's the thing with binge-watching.  I'm going through time quite fast.

On July 5-two weeks ago-I watched the episode with Matt's funeral.  That was the March 31 episode. Now I'm on the April 29 episode.  So I've done about a month's worth in two weeks.

I guess that's not a huge amount of episodes.

It's not like I'm finishing a month of episodes in one weekend.

44. Decided to watch another Neighbour's backstage video featuring Nick Fotiou.  I think they're filming the scene I watched today, where Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglou) tries to convince him not to run away.

45. Thought Fotiou seems more tense here. He's probably really sad, because it's his last day at work.

Or maybe he's doing method acting.

46. Remembered poor Emily Kinney crying about The Walking Dead.

You know, she's one of those people I stopped liking because there was way too much self-promotion on her Twitter. But then she won me over again by crying on The Talking Dead.  It was just so incredibly sweet.

47. Failed to watch the Emily Kinney video without crying.

48. Went back to watching The Neighbours video.

49. Thought that Fotiou looked much less happy and friendly in this video.

Maybe he was angry about losing his job.

Maybe a bit depressed?

Or maybe Fotiou is the type of actor who gets nervous and giggles when doing an intense scene, so he was doing some kind of mental exercise to prevent that.

50. Wondered if maybe Fotiou had a headache or stomachache.

51. Saw more recent backstage videos on YouTube.  I mean I didn't watch them. I just see the description. The most recent one features a guy named Matt Wilson. He plays Aaron Brennan. So I guess they're bringing in more of Mark's family.

Are Aaron and Tyler (Travis Burns) going to fight over Imogen?

52. Saw that there's also a new guy named Ben...played by Felix Mallard.

Mallard looks familar.

I have to look him up.

52. Confused. Mallard is listed as being on Neighbours in 2014.  So why is he on a backstage video posted a month ago?

Oh! Maybe he's coming back?

52. Looked at the description on the video. Ben is the grandson of Karl.  I think he's the one who came to visit with his mom. That's why I recognize him.

I guess he's going to come back.


53. Saw even more new actors on Neighbours. What the hell?  How many changes are going to happen from May to July?

Well, I guess they're needing to replace James Mason and Josef Brown.

54. Felt a desire to watch all these backstage videos.  I'm loving them.

Of course, I won't watch them all in one day.

Maybe I'll just watch one more for today.

55. Decided to start at the beginning of the backstage videos.

The first is about Toadie (Ryan Moloney) and Sonya's (Eve Morey) wedding, which I didn't actually watch. So I guess this is kind of my chance.

56. Saw actors that are not on the show anymore.

57. Decided to watch one more video.

This one is about the aftermath of some kind of tragedy.

58. Learned that the tragedy was an explosion and Toadie and Sonya's wedding.


Maybe that's why I saw actors that are no longer on the show anymore.  Maybe their characters died in the fire.